The crown jewel of Oʻahu, Lēʻahi, often referred to as Diamond Head, is one of the most recognizable landmarks Hawaiʻi has to offer. And it’s a favorite spot to visit amongst travelers and locals alike.
However, the beloved visitor destination—which has only increased in popularity in recent years—will be making new changes to preserve the landmark’s beauty and reduce visitor impact. State officials recently released a new policy that will go into effect on May 12, which will require visitors and those coming in from out-of-state to make reservations ahead of time to visit Diamond Head. Officials say these new rules will be used to combat and control damage to the environment and infrastructure, congestion on hiking trails, heavy vehicle traffic and illegal parking in the area.
Visitors will be able to make reservations into the park up to 14 days in advance of their visit beginning on April 28, 2022. The entry-free is $5, and parking is $10 per vehicle. The reservation system as well as additional information can be found on the DLNR’s website.
The need for reservations to access locations Hawaiʻi is not a new practice, as both Hāʻena State Park on Kauaʻi and Waiʻānapanapa State Park on Maui have also added similar systems for visitors. Both parks had cited concerns that over tourism were negatively affecting the quality of the area.
Residents of Hawaiʻi will still be allowed to enter the park without reservation and free-of-charge, however parking is limited. “We want to reduce the impact of visitors and really ensure that our residents have access to these desirable places,” Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige said to the media. “We can control the numbers of people who visit a particular place so they can more easily be spread out across the day.”